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Mittal and the world of fashion

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal is ranked one notch below Warren Buffett in appraisal with assets of £22.5 billion, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Mar 12, 2008 01:54 IST
Vijay Dutt

In fashion wealth, Mittal is just one point behind Warren Buffett, the world’s wealthiest man. Money may make the world move, but can it buy style? Two eminent judges, Jeremy Langmead, editor of Esquire and Sarah Vine beauty editor of

The Times

have appraised six Forbes Rich Listers’ fashion assets, that naturally includes Lakshmi Mittal, ranked fourth wealthiest in the world by Forbes with assets of £22.5 billion.

Mittal gets five out of 10 points as against six of 10 given to Warren Buffett, who has a fortune of £31 billion. “Our own Mittal does not lag behind much in sartorial taste”, a Saville Row stylist told HT.

When one meets Mittal, his suit looks like that of any well-groomed average person. But he reflects a charm of his own, which Sarah Vine acknowledges. “Mittal is actually not a bad-looking man. Losing the side parting and over-long fringe would not only make him look younger but also more up to date.”

The recently-dethroned richest man, Bill Gates, ranked by Forbes at three with a fortune of £29 billion, gets just four out of ten, behind Mittal. Langmead says scathingly, “These computer geniuses need to discover some better online shopping destinations.

Although, to be fair, check jackets and pleated trousers are back in fashion. Sadly, though, his jacket is far too big and those socks look as if they’ve come from Michael Jackson’s Thriller wardrobe. Perhaps Gates was planning to Moonwalk into the Microsoft offices.”

Roman Abroamovich, lagging far behind Mittal both in the UK and Forbes (15) manages at least to score as much as him in the style ranking. Jeremy pointed out, “While you sometimes wonder if the Russian billionaire would still get past the Stamford Bridge style police if he didn’t own Chelsea FC, Abroamovich copes with the casual look pretty well. He should tuck the shirt in — makes you appear smarter and slimmer — and the sweater flung over the shoulders is a little bit Eurotrash. Where he excels, however, is the accessories: the slightly weathered shoes are perfect, the chunky watch spot-on.”